Medicine: Crying Without Tears

When Miriam, aged 6½, first appeared at Babies Hospital in Manhattan, there was not even a name in the medical dictionaries for what ailed her. She had repeated attacks of vomiting; reflexes like the knee-jerk were dulled or lacking; her hands and feet were blue and cold; she perspired so heavily that her bedclothes had to be changed soon after she fell asleep; her blood pressure skyrocketed and plummeted inexplicably; when she had a temper tantrum, which was often, she broke out in red blotches. But her strangest symptom sounded like something out of a fairy tale: no matter how hard...

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